We see each other in the drop-off line. In the Target aisle or farmers’ market on Saturday mornings. We end up checking out books at the library at the same time and wiping cold, creamy faces at the Main Street ice-cream parlor.
Social media shows me what you are doing every day. Between the swings at the playground and the church parking lot smiles, we know each other. I know what you drive and what you call your kids by when they are in trouble and where you drink your coffee from. I know your name. You know mine. We know each other.
Our communities are filled with familiar faces, yet behind the recognized images are some of our loneliest, lost, and left-behind versions of ourselves. Of each other. We’ve forgotten our own people in the pace of life and the closed doors that keep us from adding one more thing to our already overwhelming lives.
What happens to community when we only step so far in?
Behind most supermarket hellos and park time potty-training conversations and story hour smiles are a bunch of us just trying to find our place in this life, amongst each other. Some of us are going the same direction every day, and some of us rarely pass by on the street. But we’re all here, right now, in this community.
And today our place in life just might be . . . sitting next to each other.
There’s hope in our world that just maybe we really are all better together.
Behind all our everydayness of life is a bigger version of us most never get to see. Perhaps this is where we find our place to fit in, an existence that doesn’t leave us behind, and a loved place at the table where only our most real selves are welcome. A community of friends, of women, of mothers, of sisters through Him that just needs to hear the simple words:
Welcome. Come as you are.
We really are better together when we look past what keeps us from inviting each other in. There is hope when we open our doors and invite one another to a seat at our table.
The community we live in becomes more than the places we see each other at. Community becomes our home. And open hearts lead to an open home. We have more to share than we realize. More than grocery lists or ice-cream outings or the church meet-and-greet time. We have burdens to carry, mountains to climb, songs to sing, bread to break, trenches to hike through, wings to spread, and stories to share.
Together. We’re created to be together.
Let’s step all the way in. Let’s open doors. Let’s say welcome — right where we are. Let’s pull a chair up next to each other and find community on the inside. Where our days are a little less lonelier with each other and a little more loved in our hurt places.
Home truly is where the heart is. Who are you inviting in?
Related: Celebrate a dear friend with this beautiful gift: Two Are Better Than One ~ 16 x 20 Wall ArtLeave a Comment
Love this! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us today. And for the reminder to “step all the way in.”
Thanks for stopping by, Marty! It’s hard to go all in!! But such a treasure awaits us when we do! Have a great Friday!! (wahoo- I love weekends!!) ~Jess
Ellen Chauvin says
Beautiful Jess! And oh, so true!
Thank you, friend!!
Betsy Cruz says
Yes, we are created to be together, Jess. I love what happens when we open the doors and invite each other in! I’m so glad to see you here at encourage, friend!
Thank you, Betsy! Means a lot you visited me here. 🙂
Jess, I love this so much. You really spoke straight to my heart and gave words to what has been on my mind so much lately. Yes, there is so much more than the places and the lists. So much. And I just want to be real and be loved. We all do, don’t we? Thank you, my friend.
Love what you said, Abby! So much more than places and lists. Let’s keep trying to be about people!!!
Betsy Cruz says
I love this too, Abby. I want to be real and be loved along with you.
Jenni DeWitt says
Reading this post, I was thinking how many times my friends and I don’t get together, because we are just so darn exhausted! But I really do think friendship is a lot like excercise in that way. It might feel like we don’t have the energy, but if we invest the time — if we allow ourselves to be real and be loved like Abby said — we will actually come away feeling more energized. Thanks for your words today, Jess!
Ifeoma Samuel says
Hi Jessica, this is true. We are not meant to live isolated. Community is lovely.
Thank you for sharing this. God Bless
So grateful you stopped by here… Have a great day!
Beth Williams says
This fast-paced go go world has me down sometimes. I just want to sit and talk-get to know really know people. If I ask “how are you doing”? I want a deep rooted answer not just some fake ok. I want to carry your burden for you and
maybe encourage you along the way!
I feel that more than not. As an introvert, I hate small talk 🙂 But sometimes I stay in the quiet too much and don’t risk the noise to invite others in. But oh so good when we do!! Cheering you on as you step forward to live in community. We really are better together, aren’t we!? Thanks for reading!
I like this very much ! am new to your writing, just signed up at ur web site ! I find it hard to “step all the way in ” some days Iam excited about doing this and joining in with my wonderful group of ladies from church. other days I cling to my solitary life! I need to put God first and then learn to “follow” him to other’s. thank you for your beautiful words, u have given me a lot to think about ! God Bless You and Your’s !!
Hello and welcome!! Let me cheer you on…step in, step in! I find more than not, once I invite others in, they were unsure themselves about reaching out. We’ve got to join in with each other, not leave one another out. I keep learning this myself. God leads us and gives us the strength to add more relationaly to our plate. I trust that plan. Lets follow together 🙂
Thank you Jess, God surely does give us the strength when we most need it ! I have a appt. tomorrow to work in the Technical Arts Dept. in my church. This is a really big step for me !!! so wish me luck and say a prayer!! Thanks for the great welcome 🙂
Kristine Brown MTY says
Jessica, you have captured something so real to all of us. I’ve been drawn to this same topic myself lately! We go through the motions and so often miss real connection. Thank you for your insight!
Thank you for reading and I love that these words connected with you. Community is a way of life that I’ve been trying to walk with Him and those He sets in front of me. So hard some days. Life in my home gets crazy with my 4 kids and sometimes I can only hide in it 🙂 But I don’t want to miss the real connecting with the real parts of life…even if it’s crazy and messy most days! Blessings to you! Gather and give thanks with your community today!